October comes to a close with only 20 teams remaining on "The Short List" having survived so far this season whereas the other 100 teams have fallen by the wayside.
The survivors still on the list are ranked in order of BCS championship contention worthiness as follows:
Alabama, LSU, Clemson, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Kansas State, Boise State, Houston, Michigan State, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Penn State, Oregon, South Carolina, Michigan, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Southern Cal and Cincinnati.
Two teams won games last week in almost diametric opposite fashions to stay on the Shortlist despite me calling for them to fall off and they were:
1) Michigan State avoids overtime with a last second batted ball Hail Mary touchdown that is reviewed onto the final scoreboard tally 37-31 in East Lansing against Wisconsin. Now if only they could have played like mythical Trojans instead of mere factual Spartans earlier this year against mythical Irish tending the end of the rainbow, they'd be at the top of the Shortlist instead of trailing the leaders.
2) Southern Cal wins a game that thanks to NCAA sanctions has absolutely no impact on the BCS but does keep them on the Shortlist for another week as they outpace the Irish in South Bend 31-17 for Lane Kiffen's signature win in his head coaching career to date. Yes, he's still that under-qualified for the positions he's had so far, no wonder there's an outcry on Wall Street over economic injustice going on in this country right now.
Two Big East teams lost last week without me calling for them to fall from Shortlist contention and the two programs were:
1) West Virginia gets completely exposed by an improving Syracuse team on Friday on the road 49-23. Being overrated is a Big 12 necessity for member institutions, they'll fit right in replacing Missouri.
2) Rutgers makes it two for two for Big East conference Friday Shortlist eliminations as they fall in Louisville to the Cardinals 16-14. Never one to miss an opportunity to use one of my favorite college football cliches when thoroughly appropriate I'll just sum it up with, "That's why you're Rutgers," and move on.
Only three teams this week should find themselves beaten off the Shortlist to the Superdome, they are:
South Carolina, Michigan State and Southern Cal.
As November dawns on 2011's college football season, the short list to the Superdome becomes more and more exclusive each week as elimination showdowns begin to develop for the teams listed on it.
Michigan State has a major bell to answer this week as they go from facing one loaded team to another on the road and will now have to win without the raucous home crowd that helped spur them on to upset victory just seven days ago.
Enjoy the games this week and join me back here next week as what is done in November will most certainly be remembered for a long time to come here on the Shortlist to the Superdome.
Copyright 2011 by Christopher Whelpton for Canespace.com